All of the sudden a bunch of page outs

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Kyllle, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. Kyllle, Jun 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012

    Kyllle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #1
    Ok I bought a macbook air the other day thinking 4gb would be fine, then all of the sudden I checked my page outs to find that there had been 2.47GB! (5.45GB page ins, and 1.49GB swapped)

    I never noticed my computer getting slow, and I'm pretty sure I just checked yesterday and there were no page outs. The only intensive thing I did today was minecraft, could that have caused all these page outs? I thought minecraft was only processor intensive.

    My uptime is "16:09 up 1 day, 3:30, 2 users, load averages: 1.73 1.98 1.80"

    Now I'm worried about running out of ram; I did a test the other day opening up the most programs I thought I would reasonably use at a time (iTunes, iPhoto, Safari with 5+ tabs, calendar, app store) with still over a gb of RAM to spare, but Minecraft seems to have pushed this way over the edge.

    Should I exchange this for an 8GB while I'm still in the 14-day return window?

    edit: Is it safe to use a program to clear inactive memory? Because I have over 1000MB of it.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    It's possible for a user to run most of the time within a certain RAM threshold, but occasionally have spikes that go far above it. What matters is both how much you're paging out and how often. To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
     
  3. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #3
    Normally, I'd say no. If you didn't notice it, why worry? But given the cost of the 8GB upgrade, I'd spring for it and not worry about it, whether the worry is legit or not. No one ever complained about having too much RAM... :D
     
  4. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #4
    8GB RAM never hurts, but frankly, for my usage, it is just a waste. At least, that's what I would have thought. I have about 10% page outs. Strangely, OCR using Adobe PDF Pro didn't do a thing. So, what in the world could I have been doing with the Internet and Pages to generate page outs !? I am thinking it is all of the initial syncing, indexing, and installations. I'll be done with all of that soon, and then I can get a better sense of what "normal" use does.
     
  5. Nychot macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    #5
    I hate to sound like a moron but wtf is a page out?
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
  7. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    #7
    When OSX runs short on memory, it 'pages out' pages of memory to the hard drive.
     
  8. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #8
    Thank you. I had no clue either.
     
  9. dcorban, Jun 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012

    dcorban macrumors 6502a

    dcorban

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    #9
    I hadn't looked at Activity Monitor on my new Air yet, so I took a look. I have had the computer for four days and have yet to reboot it since updating it within the first few minutes of use.

    I am showing 4.5GB of "page ins" and 1.2MB of "page outs". If I am to understand this correctly, I am fine, as my "page outs" are essentially zero.

    I am puzzled by the high "page ins". It is showing 1.02GB of swap file usage along with the high level of "page ins". I guess I don't understand how there can be such a large swap file when there have been no page ins.

    *edit*

    I just did a bit of reading and now understand. Page ins are caused by apps that map files to memory, and the swap file is created even if it isn't being used.
     
  10. DollaTwentyFive macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    #10
    I was actually going to post a similar thread. I have a 2011 11" MBA with 4GB or RAM. Everything has been running fine. For my use, all good. In the past week I have noticed a ton of Page Outs without doing anything differently.

    It's almost as if Apple surreptitiously installed an update to make me think I need more RAM in the form of a 2012 MBA. I haven't noticed any issues so I'm not going to worry about it. But the 8GB 11" is really calling my name.

    I may hold off Thanks to ZBoater,who confirmed that I probably wouldn't notice a difference.

    I'm going to hang tough with my 4GB. Maybe. We'll see......
     
  11. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #11
    If a tree falls in the forrest...

    I should make a poll to see how many get this reference... :D

    Some of this monitoring utilities do more harm than good. From obsessing over the battery recharging with Coconut Battery to the Fans with smc Fan control, I decided to turn them all off. If my MBA explodes, so be it. Otherwise ignorance is bliss.... :cool:
     
  12. DollaTwentyFive macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    #12
    So true. I only started obsessing about battery and RAM when I started paying too much attention to these forums.

    I've always been the type that wants the latest and greatest technology because it is one of my 2-3 expensive hobbies. But the point you raise is a good one. If If there was no activity monitor, I wouldn't know what my page out stats were. The fact is, my 2011 MBA is working fine, so who cares....
     
  13. 3bs macrumors 603

    3bs

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #13
    I've started avoiding threads which I know will cause me to obsess over tiny details that I probably won't notice unless I read them :p
     
  14. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #14
    I am actually quite interested in the stats, and don't feel like I obsess so much as observe. I've noticed that under normal use I have 0 pageouts on my 11" 128 GB / 4GB 2012 MBA. I had a bunch (about 10%) during the first few days, but it was difficult to say what that meant, because I had so many new installs, and Spotlight was still indexing. It looks like it meant nothing at all. For my use: Chrome, Evernote, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Adobe Acrobat Pro (OCR, annotations, etc.), and various lightweight programs I will be fine with 4GB.
     
  15. Skoopman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    #15
    Try resetting your PRAM. I had a page out problem after I changed the RAM in my MM. After the RAM was full, it wouldn't release it anymore.
     
  16. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #16
    Good advice, in general, but I would think this should not be necessary less than a week into a purchase :)
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #17
    PRAM/NVRAM has nothing to to with RAM usage. Resetting it will not help. A simple restart of your computer clears RAM and resets your page outs and swap file usage to zero. Yes, if you install new RAM, it's recommended to reset the NVRAM at that time, but only then.
     
  18. LordVic macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Location:
    Ontario
    #18
    I'm not quite as knowledgable in OSx with how it handles memory management, as I have far more experience in Windows, so I am going on an assumption that it is similar (since linux is similar as well).

    Page outs do not necessarily mean you're low on ram or running out. The OS, when given the ability to, will page out memory that meets certain criteria, even if you have unused physical memory available.

    user memory that is in ram but has been idle a long time may page to disc, based on frequency of use and how long it's been idle. Also programs that have been idle for a while may clear the shared memory portion of the binary that is loaded into memory, leaving a pointer to the executable on disc instead of leaving it in place.

    This behaviour, even while there is lots of free memory is normal and with the speeds of SSD's, will almost be entirely invisible to us as end users and shouldn't be a concern.

    Though you will always get more performance out of pure RAM instead of a combo. I know in windows, when you have more than enough available pages, you can disable your page file on disk
     
  19. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #19
    I think the issue is when you have beachballs and a lot of page outs. I have neither, especially in regular use. I'm pleased with the 4GB (for my needs -- explained above).
     
  20. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    Stuck in an early 70s giallo
    #20
    as I cannot upgrade my iMac

    whatever I buy if its' an MBA it'll have 8GB since I'm seeing the same amount of page outs in my 2010 iMacs' system memory that the OP sees in their new 11" MBA...

    if I go with the rMBP (not likely now) 16gb...

    so if I were the OP, yeah, I'd exchange it while you still can.
     

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